Current Affairs May 2013

Ms Nishi Vasudeva becomes first woman recommended to head the Oil Company, HPCL

Screenshot_2Ms Nishi Vasudeva has become the first woman to be selected as the head of the Navratna public sector unit, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL). Currently, she is the Director, Marketing, HPCL and will take over as the chairman and managing director of the company. She will replace Subir Roy Choudhury, who will be retiring in February 2014.

However, the recommendation of her name as the head of Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd will be given to Oil Ministry now. After the consent of the Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily, her name will be given clearance by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Central Bureau of India (CBI). Thereafter, her candidature will be forwarded to Cabinet Committee on Appointments (ACC).

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting launches New Media Wing

The Union Cabinet accepted the proposal for establishing a New Media Wing. The expenditure to set up and run the New Media Wing will cost Rs. 22.5 crore which was allocated during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) and approved by the CCEA under Development Communication & Information Broadcasting plan scheme of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The proposal for its establishment was drawn on the basis of the experience of its pilot program on the social media platforms such as Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. The New Media Wing will address the communication and broadcasting requirements of the government on social media.

The New Media Wing would be headed by a senior officer of Joint Secretary level and will work under his overall supervision, direction and guidance. The administrative and operational support will be provided by a Media Unit under the Ministry – the Research Reference & Training Division – which would be the New Media Wing.


Russia grants asylum to Edward Snowden

Screenshot_4Former NSA contractor and whistleblower of U.S electronic surveillance programme Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia and left the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport for an undisclosed “safe location”.

Mr. Snowden, a former CIA employee and NSA contractor had been stuck at Sheremetyevo Airport since June 23, when he arrived in Moscow on the way from Hong Kong. However, he could not continue his journey as U.S. authorities revoked his passport.

The U.S. has asked Russia to hand over Mr. Snowden for trial on charges for espionage, but has not sent a formal extradition request. President Vladimir Putin has refused to hand him over.

How the temporary asylum granted by Russia to Snowden will protect him?

The Russian temporary asylum to Mr Snowden will protect him from extradition as a person granted temporary asylum cannot be returned against his will to the country of his citizenship or his residence. The asylum status allows Mr. Snowden to live and work in Russia for one year and can be extended indefinitely on a yearly basis.